Why has the civic standing committee rejected your plan of getting smart wrist watches for sanitation workers?
They (standing committee) have taken a decision. It was taken without discussion. They know why they took the decision.
Is it a huge setback to your administration?
It is a setback to the city of Pimpri-Chinchwad as it lost an opportunity to track the movement of over 4,500 sanitation workers and record their attendance.
Do you think the BJP-led standing committee has insulted your administration by rejecting what was described as an innovative project?
No, it is their right to do so. They have exercised their right. Anyways, we were not going to buy the watches. The contractor was supposed to provide the watches and end-to-end service. We were to pay the charges only for the service provided.
Why were you insisting on smart wrist watches?
It was an innovative technological project already implemented by Nagpur civic body for which it was honoured by the central government in the Swachh Survekshan. It was a first of its kind GPS-based project implemented in the country. After Nagpur, cities like Indore and others too had picked it up. Therefore, it was a tried-and-tested project. Based on this knowledge and information and after studying it thoroughly, we had decided to implement the project. We thought it was a very good project and would help our city a lot.
What problems did the administration face with the sanitation workers?
We are finding that there over 20 per cent workers who are absent from duty. On top of this, their payments were secured by the contractor. There were several complaints daily from citizens that sanitation workers were not doing their jobs properly. The smart watches would have helped us track their movements, attendance, among other things.
Did you discuss or consult with local BJP leaders like Laxman Jagtap and Mahesh Landge before placing the plan before the standing committee ?
No, we had not. We thought it was an innovative plan and the civic standing committee would approve it.
Are you going to invoke your special powers?
No, I won’t. We will look for other options now. We cannot introduce the plan before the standing committee again for the next three months now that they have cancelled it. The rule says we will have to come up with a revised plan three months later.